TSM v Clutch Gaming – LCS Summer Playoffs Betting Prediction and Preview
LCS Summer split playoffs kick off on Saturday, August 10 with a match between Team SoloMid and Clutch Gaming, who will go head-to-head in an exciting best-of-three (Bo3) fixture that will lead one team into semi-finals and one step closer to the finals and a World Championship ticket.
TSM jungle struggles
A lot of hopes have been put on TSM to perform up to par this split, after their impressive run in the spring. But as we soon come to realize, TSM will not have an easy time in the summer split. The NA powerhouse were not particularly bad, but they were not good either. Team SoloMid were just average, which earned them an average 4th place (10-8) finish and 70 Championship points, which is considerably worse compared to 13-5 in the spring split.
The main reason why TSM failed to recapture their form from spring was their jungle struggles. Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham failed to perform as well as he did in spring, whereas Jonathan “Grig” Armao proved to not be a good fit for the team. TSM needed quite a while to figure out where the problem lies, but once they did, they surprised with a shocking decision to bench both of their starting junglers and replace them with Mingyi “Spica” Lu, who will represent the team throughout the playoffs. Looking at that decision now, it’s hard to see how this can in any way harm TSM. Spica is a very talented jungler and one of the most mechanically gifted players in the region and from the looks of it seems like a perfect fit for TSM. Will he prove his worth in playoffs is anyone’s guess, but overall he is a solid addition to the team.
Clutch Gaming flying high
Clutch Gaming made an incredible comeback in the summer split. Following their less-than-impressive 5-13 run in the spring, CG managed to finish 9-9 in the summer. That is not to say CG had a good start. In fact, they found themselves in the bottom part of the standings early into the split, but managed to push through and impressed with a 3-1 run to end the split and secure a spot in the playoffs.
All in all it’s safe to say the team overall improved compared to CG we were watching in the spring split. A lot of the credit for their improvement goes to Cody “Cody Sun” Sun who proved to be a solid improvement over Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin, who moved to mid lane in March. It’s also worth noting the improvement of Nam “Lira” Tae-yoo who looks to be much more confident with his role in the team.
While we praise CG for their improvement, Clutch Gaming are still one of the teams who fail to perform against top teams. Not only have CG lost both games against TSM this split, CG are 0-8 against all four top teams of the season, which is something we have to take notice ahead of playoffs.
Verdict & Prediction
Clutch Gaming are the underdogs against TSM and rightfully so. TSM are not only one of the most successful NA teams in the history of League of Legends, but they also proved twice this split they are better than CG. On the other side, we cannot underestimate Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, who could be a huge thorn in the side of TSM if he gets in his rhythm. He is, however, the only win condition for CG, whereas TSM are more than capable of winning via all three lanes.
In conclusion, CG do seem like they can put up a fight and maybe even win one map, but when it comes to wining the series, we have to side with TSM. They have an experienced and extremely talented roster, who despite their ups and downs throughout the season are expected to show their true colors in the playoffs. TSM as a team have extremely high expectations, which means anything less than finals appearance will be considered a failure. That mentality is what makes TSM deadly in final stages of tournaments which is why we believe TSM will enter the Saturday’s match with all guns blazing.
Prediction: TSM to win